Thursday night's American Idol was one of the most shocking elimination episodes in recent memory. Contestant Jessica Sanchez, 16, who has widely been favorited to win the title this year, was announced as the lowest vote-getter after Wednesday's performance round, and judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson interrupted Sanchez's final performance to tell America that they were using their only chance to save Sanchez from elimination.

So how did this happen? How did Sanchez find herself in the bottom three with other highly rated contestants Elise Testone and Joshua Ledet? "Well, I think [America] thought she was safe," Jackson told MTV News. "I think they thought she was safe, I'm sure, and I think they thought Joshua was safe because those two alone, with Colton and some of the others, have been the most consistent. So, you know, yeah, I think they just forgot."

It was a lucky night for Hollie Cavanagh, who got the worst review from the judges on Wednesday night but wound up safe from elimination. Contestants Phillip Phillips and Colton Dixon might also have found themselves in Jessica's same spot, considering they have not earned the kind of unanimous praise she has over the course of the season. When Sanchez performed "Stuttering" by Jazmine Sullivan on Wednesday night, Jackson said she "slayed the biggest fish of the night." Guest mentor Akon also revealed that he was a fan of Sanchez and predicted she would go on to greatness.

Lucky her, then, that Idol threw in the judges' elimination "save" into the rule books this year, and that they hadn't already wasted it on someone less talented.

Watch the video here:


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